As International Women’s Day is marked, sector remains at foot of gender diversity table

Construction has the greatest issue with gender diversity in the UK, a survey to mark International Women’s Day has found.

The survey, which was carried out by recruitment firm Search Consultancy, found that more than two-thirds, or 68%, of managers in the construction sector believe it has an ongoing struggle with a lack of gender diversity.

Women in engineering

Construction needs to do more to encourage women into the industry, the survey found

Construction was considered to have the greatest issue with gender diversity, followed by the transportation and industrial sectors.

At the other end of the spectrum, less than half of managers in the legal, hospitality and marketing sectors felt their respective industries had a gender imbalance.

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The research also looked into racial and age diversity within businesses across the sectors, with 56% of managers in the construction industry saying they believed their business lacked racial diversity and 54% admitting age diversity was an issue.

Exactly two-thirds of managers also said a more diverse workforce would help resolve the skills shortage in the construction industry.

Erin Vickers, director of talent and engagement at Search Consultancy, said: “Although research shows that 83% of managers in the construction sector believe their industry is suffering from a skills shortage, little is being done to encourage a more diverse workforce and consequently widen the talent pool available.

“The benefits of having a diverse team are endless. Looking outside of the typical candidate demographic can help resolve the skills shortage, create a better understanding of customers and significantly improve employer brand.”

The research was conducted with 1,000 managers and asked respondents to rate how they believed their industry compared against a range of diversity markers.

The full list, from most to least diverse in terms in gender representation, is:

o   Legal – 40%

o   Hospitality – 44%

o   Marketing – 49%

o   Sales – 50%

o   Scientific – 52%

o   Engineering & manufacturing – 52%

o   Logistics – 53%

o   Call & contact centre -  54%

o   Accountancy & finance – 55%

o   Business support – 56%

o   Social work – 56%

o   Healthcare – 57%

o   Financial services – 59%

o   HR – 59%

o   Industrial – 60%

o   Transportation – 63%

o   Construction – 68%